Anyone who goes to music festivals knows that success is not just down to the music, but it is the whole experience. No matter how well your favourite group performs, if the queues are endless or the toilets inaccessible, the festival is doomed to failure. Luckily, the first day of the Cala Mijas Festival on Thursday showed every sign of being well-organised and that this will become a highly successful and annual event.
Friday and Saturday are considered the biggest days of this festival, but having the Arctic Monkeys as the headline act on the ‘weakest’ of the three days was an inspired decision. Before the British band came on stage the festival was warming up nicely with names such as Blossoms and Sen Senra, but as dusk arrived at the festival site a spectacular blonde girl made it her goal to get the audience jumping with delight.
Róisín Murphy seems incombustible, despite being on the verge of her 50th birthday. She performed a very fine electronica set between changes of outfit and some outlandish wigs; it was a show dedicated to her generation. Her music is still great, and nothing has changed for Murphy, beyond the number on the calendar.
But despite the fun of this '90s shock', the feeling was that the audience was waiting impatiently for the Arctic Monkeys, who came out in full force to the strains of Do I Wanna Know?, moving from decade to decade in a tribute to the early 2000s, a time when music in general and rock in particular leapt irrevocably into the digital world.
Alex Turner is not the most talkative guy, but he willingly tried to communicate in Spanish and received an ovation for the attempt. The Arctic Monkeys did not bring the first day of the Cala Mijas Festival to a close – that was down to Bonobo, who did so with musical elegance, leaving the audience wanting more and keen to enjoy all the fun to come over the next couple of days. Let the music play, as they say!